Skip to Main Content

Google Scholar

Basic Searching in Google Scholar

Google Scholar works similarly to regular Google. You can search for keywords or just type a question.

For example, if you wanted to search for articles about whether social media use contributes to depression among teens, you could try either of the following strategies:


Google Scholar search using the keywords: depression teens social media

Full sentence (question):

Google Scholar search using the question: does social media contribute to depression in teens

Ranking Results

Google Scholar weighs several factors to rank results, including:

  • Frequency of your search terms in the article
  • Number of other articles that have cited a given article
  • How recent an article is

Additionally, Google Scholar uses natural language processing to interpret the meaning of your words in context and look for synonyms and similar concepts. This means you don't always have to think of other ways researchers might describe the ideas you're looking for (like using the word "adolescents" in addition to "teens").

However, this also means you may get results that aren't exactly about the concept you're looking for, so you still need to evaluate the results you get to see if they're relevant.

Filtering Results

Google Scholar offers some options for filtering results on the left side of the screen, including:

  • Date
  • Whether to sort by relevance or date
  • All articles or only review articles
  • Whether to include patents or citations

Google Scholar filtering options such as date and type

You can also set up an email alert to be notified when new articles that relate to your search are published.